Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats

submitted as the terms of understanding were at length passed by the
Soviets. There is not one word in the Agreement regarding the surrender
of even an inch of soil in the East. Whosoever suspects me of bartering
this soil should remember that I myself am a Freeman of the cities of Grodno
and Tarnopol, should recall 1918, and my share in the defence of Lwow
and Wilno . . . That I was also the Commander of the Army in Grodno
when the Wilno affair was settled . . . When I was formerly Premier the
problem of the eastern frontier had been solved. Would I therefore give
up those territories or overlook their importance?
cc Certain sections of the public are impatient regarding the employment
of the word ' amnesty' in the Pact, but it is only among those who are
living in comfort. . . but those who have at length been released in Russia
through this Pact are not concerned over such prestige."
Would the text of this Agreement now permit the Soviets to advance
certain far-reaching suggestions? The Germans had already expelled
the Russians from the part of Polish soil hi question, therefore it would
seem, that for the time being, at any rate, this dispute had assumed a
character purely academical, but what'of the future ? Had this omission
to include a paragraph definitely emphasising the frontiers, weakened the
political position of Poland ?
None would think to question the stability of the frontiers of France,
Belgium or Czecho-Slovakia, but, by not receiving any pointed reference
in this Agreement, the Polish Eastern frontier had become a subject for
future dispute.
Was Russia ready in July, 1941, to acknowledge once again the existence
of Poland's frontiers beyond any possibility of argument ? There can
only be suppositions on this point. Such an acknowledgment in itself
would have been against the principles of Russian imperialism. Since
however, their position on the front seemed catastrophical at that time, the
Red Government, might perhaps, had they been faced with a determined
attitude on the part of Britain as well as Poland, have agreed with the
Polish formula regarding the frontier. But when the war was in its first
phase of 1941, no one had been concerned over the question of the Polish
or any other frontier, since it was generally understood, and Maisky had
emphasised when signing the Agreement, that such problems would be
settled at a future peace conference. Indeed, at that time, even the
Kremlin was of the same opinion on this matter. It seems that the U.S.
Government at that juncture had been prepared to extend even more
definite commitments regarding the frontiers of Poland, but once this
Agreement was signed, Washington had no further remarks to make
on the subject for the time being.
The Soviet propaganda managed to present the Agreement in such a
manner as to convey the impression that Russia had given every possible
satisfaction to Poland. The first reaction was the enthusiasm shewn by
the Soviet Press. Pravda on July 3ist, wrote :
" The Great Russian people and all the peoples of the Soviet Unioa
have great sympathy with the people of Poland groaning under the German.